Most people today don’t spare a thought for the possibility of nuclear armageddon, although during the second half of the 20th century it was a definite possibility with the U.S. and the Soviet Union seemingly waiting for the merest of excuses to destroy each other. Luckily, the Cold War passed without many major conflicts, but Toy Solidiers: Cold War asks what would have happened in war had broken out. You play as the U.S. forces, defending the globe from Soviet aggression, using a selection of various emplacements, such as machine guns, anti-air batteries and even fireworks. You even get to control a series of battery- and clockwork- powered vehicles, such as tanks, helicopters and jets.
ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR
Hey, Arnold! – Toy Soldiers takes the best of playing war with your toys as a kid, and mixes them with elements from movies you shouldn’t really have watched at a young age, such as Rambo and Predator. The best example of this is the Commando, a muscle-bound warrior who comes across as the offspring of the entire cast of The Expendables, but from when they were (debatably) good.
Sylvester and Tweety – Find yourself listening to dodgy 80’s power rock to get yourself pumped? Then you’re going to love the soundtrack to Toy Soldiers, as it’s full of the best elements of a musical genre that should really have been discarded long ago. It’s not just the music that rocks though, the audio as a whole is well done, from the shouts of your troops to the satisfying explosions and the rumble of overhead aircraft.
If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood – Playing through the campaign, you will often forget that you’re not actually fighting a real war. The environments are so detailed, you will be forgiven you are thinking that you are really fighting to the last man through countries such as Vietnam, Egypt and Germany. Then every now and then, you will spot something in the corner of the screen, such as a lava lamp, or aviator sunglasses, that remind you that you’re actually fighting in a kid’s bedroom in the middle of the 1980’s.
WAR IS HELL
D’o(h)lph Lundgren – One of the most common misconceptions in warfare is the phrase ‘this war will be over by christmas’, often said before said a war drags out into three or four years of solid fighting. Whilst Toy Soldiers won’t leave you waiting that long, some of the loading screens do leave you itching to get to the action.
Toy Soldiers: Cold War is a great game that allows you to relive pent up aggression against tiny plastic figures, without having to replace your younger sibling’s toys afterwards. Whilst the action doesn’t change much from start to finish, the ability to upgrade your defences, the changes in enemy types that you face and the constant sense of danger will keep you on your toes for the duration, and the quips from your troops will keep a smile on your face. If the real Cold War could have been this much fun, then I’m sure you would have had plenty of people clamouring to push the big red button. As it is, we have an excellent game in the tower-defence genre, and a game that I would recommend to almost anyone.